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Civil Rights Groups Move To Block Prop. 209 At University

With student admission applications due Monday, civil rights groups moved to block University of California campuses from implementing the antiaffirmative action measure Proposition 209.

The legal filing on Friday by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups was largely symbolic.

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order on Wednesday barring Gov. Pete Wilson and Attorney General Dan Lungren from implementing the measure until at least Dec. 16, when a hearing is scheduled. The measure, which prohibits racial and gender preference in public hiring, contracting and education, was approved by nearly 55 percent of voters Nov. 5.

University of California officials have assured Proposition 209 opponents they will not attempt to implement the measure before the hearing.

“With the deadline for UC applications fast approaching, we want to make sure minority applicants understand that Proposition 209 is unconstitutional and cannot be given effect,” said ACLU attorney Daniel Tokaji. “The welcome mat is still out for minority students. No one should allow Proposition 209 to discourage them from applying for admission.”

The federal judge said there was a “strong probability” the measure would be ruled unconstitutional for violating the rights of women and minorities.